October 2011-July 2012
INDIANAPOLIS — The Division II Championships Committee is throwing a number of questions on the table in an effort to assess the membership’s attitude toward in-region, nonconference competition.
“As we see conferences growing, we see fewer nonconference, in-region games being scheduled,” said Bob Boerigter, commissioner of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and Management Council representative on the Championships Committee. “We’re trying to address that and ask people’s feedback to determine how significant this issue is. Is it really a big deal or is it just a situation where it impacts a few sports in some isolated ways?”
To facilitate discussion, the Championships Committee has prepared a white paper that poses several key questions. The complete white paper will be available for discussion at conference meetings Friday afternoon, but some of the questions are:
• Is the scheduling of in-region, nonconference competition important?
• Should the division implement a process similar to nullification (currently used to deal with the use of ineligible players) in the selection process that would penalize teams that didn’t schedule in-region, nonconference competition?
• Should selection criteria mandate a specific number of required in-region, nonconference games to be eligible for the postseason?
• Should a weighted ranking system be developed as a part of the selection criteria to encourage institutions to schedule other Division II institutions rather than institutions in other associations or divisions?
In all, the Championships Committee advanced nine questions (see NCAA.org for the full list). Any feedback can be sent to D2selectioncriteria@ncaa.org.
Asked if the exercise was in response to selection committee concerns, Boerigter said, “Across the board, no. But we’ve heard enough different things that we thought this was a good time to study the situation. Some sports have indicated they’re having difficulty with not enough in-region competition to make determinations of who should be fifth and who should be sixth or who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t. But it would be a mischaracterization to say there’s an uproar across all sports.”
With that in mind, it seems possible — perhaps even likely — that any adjustments to current policy could vary from sport to sport or even region to region.
“One thing we know is that one size is probably not going to fit all,” he said. “Certainly we would desire some consistency, but we’re aware of the fact that we need to be open to flexibility sport-by-sport.”
During a brief discussion at Wednesday’s Management Council meeting, one commissioner cautioned against taking steps that would discourage revenue-generating games against Division I opponents.
“That’s the sort of feedback the Championships Committee is looking for,” said Terri Steeb, director of Division II. “We need our members to be honest and to tell us where the boundaries are. Division II’s regional philosophy isn’t open to negotiation in this exercise, but everything else is on the table. This is the time for the membership to speak its mind on selection criteria.”
The Championships Committee has adopted a timeline that would provide for consideration of the feedback in February, vetting of tentative recommendations through the summer, final recommendations for the Management and Presidents Council in September, and action at the 2013 Convention. This current timeline and implementation dates would depend on what course of action is identified.
Championships Committee questions
• Is the scheduling of in-region/non-conference competition important?
• Are the difficulties in developing a regular season schedule limited to certain sports or certain regions?
• Should the division implement a process similar to nullification that would include a mathematical deduction at the time of selections if an institution did not schedule any in-region/non-conference competition?
• Should sports committees’ selection criteria mandate a specific number of required in-region/non-conference contest(s) in order to be eligible for the post-season?
• Should a weighted ranking system be developed as a part of the selection criteria to encourage institutions to schedule other Division II institutions rather than institutions in other associations or other divisions?
• Should a weighted ranking system be developed as a part of the selection criteria to encourage institutions to schedule other Division II institutions that have historically been stronger in the sport (e.g., bonus points for playing a Top 25 team, bonus points for beating a Top 25 team on the road, etc.)?
• If the division supports an incentive plan, what parameters should be included in the incentive plan and who should oversee the funds received from the incentive plan (e.g., schools, conferences)?
• Should conferences or institutions sponsor centrally located events to meet any new selection criteria requirements or to encourage in-region/non-conference competition?
• When should any proposed changes be implemented?